KPD Officer Gardner retires after 38 years of service - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

KPD Officer Gardner retires after 38 years of service

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KENNEWICK, WA - While plenty of new officers have joined the police department in Kennewick, others are putting their days on the force behind them.

Reporter Kristina Shalhoup attended the retirement party of one of Kennewick's own earlier today and learned what he's hoping to get out of life after law enforcement.

After 38 years in uniform and 21 of them right here in Kennewick, Officer Wes Gardner received his official retirement badge earlier today in a ceremony at the Kennewick Police Department.

Officer Gardner is known around town for his impact on the school district, and, while reflecting back on some fond memories, he told us earlier than working with high school students was a highlight of his career. 

Another special memory for Officer Gardner came in his earlier days, when he had the opportunity to work as a part of a very special K-9 unit.

"I got to travel with the secret service, I got to work with an explosive dog, back when Reagan ran against Carter," Gardner said. "So that was pretty cool... for a young guy, that was pretty exciting."

Now, with the days of explosives long behind him, Officer Gardner is looking forward to spending some quality time with his wife, two daughters, and infant grandson.

That being said, he doesn't want to stay put too long: the officer and his wife are hoping to load up their RV and spend a year traveling the country.

From all of us here at NBC Right Now, thank you for your service, Officer Gardner, and congratulations on your retirement!